Falcons move to 9-1 with 90-61 win

SOUTH PADRE ISLAND, Texas – For the Bowling Green State University women’s basketball team, the storyline has been a familiar one: Take an early lead, then keep that lead for the remainder of the game.

On Monday afternoon, the Falcons followed that script to a T.

BGSU took control in the game’s opening minutes, downing Texas A&M University-Commerce by a 90-61 final. The game, the opening contest in the UTRGV South Padre Island Classic, was held at the South Padre Island Convention Centre.

A total of 13 different players scored for the Falcons (9-1), who have won seven-straight games. Eight of those BGSU players scored at least five points on Monday.

“It was a great team win on the road,” BGSU coach Robyn Fralick said. “It’s been a great experience coming to Texas and being at this tournament.

“Today, I thought we really settled in, especially in the third quarter. We did a great job of putting together a lot of consecutive possessions.”

BGSU’s 9-1 start to the season is tied for the best in school history.

Nyla Hampton and Morgan Sharps led the way with 17 points apiece, with Lexi Fleming adding 15. Hampton and Sharps each went 7-for-10 from the floor, with Hampton adding six assists and a game-high four steals in the win.

Sharps and Fleming each went 3-for-5 from the three-point line, with Flaming adding four assists. Eight different Falcons, including Sharps, had two or more assists in the contest.

In fact, BGSU had 30 assists – the fourth-highest single-game total in school history – on 38 field goals.

The Falcons forced the Lions into 24 turnovers, and BG had a team total of 14 steals along with a 32-9 advantage in points off of turnovers.

Laila Lawrence scored 16 points to pace three double-digit scorers for the Lions (2-8).

BGSU had leads of 10 points after one quarter and 14 points at the half. Early in the third period, the Falcons went on a 15-2 run to take a 26-point lead, at 63-37.

The Lions responded by scoring the game’s next six points, but the Falcons responded to that run with a run of their own. Transition buckets by Kadie Hempfling and Fleming began an 11-0 BG run to end the third quarter, and the Falcons had a 74-41 lead after 30 minutes.

BGSU shot 52.8% from the floor, going 38-for-72. The Falcons went 9-of-22 (40.9%) from three-point range and 5-of-6 from the free-throw line.

The Lions shot 36.2% from the floor and went just 2-for-11 (18.2%) from the arc. TAMUC had large advantages in free throws made and attempted, going 17-for-24 at the stripe. Each team had 37 rebounds.

Sophie Dziekan scored eight points and had three offensive rebounds, while Hempfling had seven points and five total boards.

Jocelyn Tate has six points and a team-high eight rebounds, and she tied Hampton for game honors with six assists. Hampton had four steals and Tate three. Elissa Brett had five points, with Jasmine Clerkley, Jasmine Fearne, Olivia Hill and Payton Moore adding two apiece and Jaci Tubergen one.

The Falcons have forced the opponents into a total of 221 turnovers this season, an average of 22.1 per game, while committing just 122 (12.2 per game) themselves.

The Falcons conclude play in the South Padre Island Classic on Tuesday evening, facing UTRGV. That game is set to begin at 6 p.m. local time (7 p.m. ET).

Then, after a break for the holidays, BGSU will wrap up the non-conference schedule with a home game vs. Findlay on Dec. 30. That contest is set for a 2 p.m. start at the Stroh Center.